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NOTEBOOK: Goff to Williams connection is moving along after three games

Quarterback Jared Goff and rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams couldn't connect on a potential touchdown against the Jets last week. Williams got a couple steps on his defender but Goff was a little late with the football and under-threw Williams for an incompletion. It was the only target Williams had in his 21 snaps last week against the No. 4 passing defense in the league.

Williams is just three games into his NFL career after getting a late start to his rookie season due to a torn ACL suffered in college.

Goff said their chemistry continues to build every week and every day he and Williams get to practice together. Goff is adjusting to Williams' world-class speed, and Williams is adjusting to having more of the offense put on his plate.

"Him and I are moving along," Goff said. "It's so much better than it was two weeks ago just understanding his speed, what he's good at and what he likes. We're moving right along, and it'll only get better from here."

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson agrees it's only a matter of time before the Goff to Williams connection becomes more potent week in and week out.

"Yeah, it's a weekly process, and I think it is coming along," Johnson said of the chemistry building between Goff and Williams. "We try to push Jamo a little bit more every week in terms of the routes we're asking him to run, not just for the game, but also for his development and for Jared's chemistry with him.

"We're trying to see what he's capable of, and what he's comfortable with at this point coming off that injury. So, I think we'll continue to see a growing connection between those two. It's just time on task."


Kalif Raymond has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after recording a 47-yard punt-return touchdown, the first of his career, in Detroit's 20-17 win over the New York Jets Sunday. Raymond also caught five passes for 53 yards, including three first-down grabs.

It's Raymond's first career Special Teams Player of the Week award. He is the fifth Lions player to be named a Player of the Week this season, joining wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, safety Kerby Joseph, defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson and kicker Michael Badgley.


The Carolina Panthers' offense has established a clear identity under interim head coach Steve Wilkes, and it's that of a physical, run-first football team. The Panthers then want to use the play-action pass game off the run. In Carolina's five wins this season, they've averaged 191.6 rushing yards per game. No one has run the ball more than Carolina in the last three weeks. In their nine losses, they're averaging just 76.3 rushing yards per game.

"We have to do what we do week in and week out," Lions defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs said of this week's matchup. "That's stop the run first. They are a heavy run football team. We see it on film crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch runs over and over again. So, we have to play fundamentally sound upfront. We have to be in our gaps, we have to strike, we have shed blocks and stop the run."

Detroit's been one of the best run defenses in the NFL over the last month.

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